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Workplace Violence

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Workplace Violence 

Employees may experience physical injury and/or psychological trauma due to workplace violence, such as assault. According to OSHA, approximately 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year.[1] Certain professions have a higher risk of workplace violence, including police and corrections officers, healthcare workers, social workers, taxi and delivery drivers, and late-night retail workers (e.g. gas station attendants). 

Workplace violence includes not only physical violence, but also the threat of physical violence, harassment or intimidation. 

Workplace violence is divided into 4 categories based on the relationship of the assailant to the victim:

  • Criminal intent: “violent acts by people who enter the workplace to commit robbery or other crime – or current or former employee who enters the workplace with the intent to commit a crime.”
  • Customer, client and patient: “violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates or any others to whom the employer provides a service.”
  • Co-worker: “violence against co-workers, supervisors, or managers by a current or former employee, supervisor, or manager.”
  • Personal: “violence in the workplace by someone who does not work there, but who is known to, or has a personal relationships with, an employee.”[2]

 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim. 

[1] https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/


[2] OSHA, Workplace Violence Prevention, https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-20865-10/08_workplace_violence_2012.ppt

 

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Falls at Work

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Falls at Work 

Same-Level Falls are the second most common workers’ compensation claim in New York, according to Liberty Mutual’s 2017 Workplace Safety Index.[1] 

Examples of a same-level fall include: an employee falling on ice or another slippery surface such as a soapy floor, tripping on a computer wire, falling due to an uneven working surface, or being knocked to the floor by a piece of equipment. No matter how an employee sustained a fall, he/she is entitled to benefits as long as the incident occurred on the job. 

The fall can occur anywhere from an office to the sidewalk to a roof. These falls can result in concussion; fractures; broken bones; cuts, abrasions and bruises; shoulder, neck, head, back, knee, and internal organ injuries. 

Falls to a lower level are a leading cause of work-related injuries. These injuries can occur when a worker falls off scaffolding or a ladder, or down stairs. These falls can cause cuts, bruises, abrasions, sprains and broken bones, and concussions. Construction and maintenance workers are at particularly high risk for falls from heights.

[1] https://www.libertymutualgroup.com/about-liberty-mutual-site/news-site/Pages/2017-Liberty-Mutual-Workplace-Safety-Index.aspx

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common workplace injuries, and leads to more lost time from work than any other workplace injury.[1] 

CTS is an example of a common repetitive stress injury. Examples of repetitive workplace tasks that can cause carpal tunnel include: typing, carrying trays, and cutting or pressing objects. These repetitive tasks can cause damage to the median nerve in the hand and wrist. Symptoms include pain in the hand and wrist, numbness, tingling, burning and swelling. 

It can sometimes be difficult to establish CTS as a workplace-caused injury because so many of our every day activities—from slicing vegetables for dinner, to playing tennis—can also cause CTS due to repetitive motion. The employee has the burden of proof for showing that the injury was caused by workplace injury or injuries and not by other non-work related actions.

CTS is an example of an injury due to “overexertion”. Other examples of overexertion include back pain due to lifting heavy objects repeatedly, muscle and joint pain, and disease or organ damage due to prolonged exposure to chemicals or toxic fumes. Along with CTS, these other forms of overexertion make up the majority of workers’ compensation claims in New York. 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/apr/wk1/art01.htm

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Mental Illness

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Mental Illness 

Severe trauma, bullying, threats, or unsafe work conditions can potentially lead to work-caused mental illness, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological illnesses can be just as debilitating as physical injuries. 

A mental illness claim for workers’ compensation is more complicated to establish than a physical injury. A causal link must be shown between the mental illness and the workplace. For example, a claimant must demonstrate that his/her anxiety was caused by workplace conditions and not personal circumstances. This means demonstrating that the work conditions in the claimant’s job were more anxiety-inducing than the conditions of an average job. However, just because a psychological condition does not emerge from a single precipitating incident does not mean a valid claim cannot be made. 

As with every workers’ compensation claim, consulting a lawyer is the best way to determine if a claim is viable. A workers’ compensation lawyer can explain the relevant laws related to mental illness and the workplace, and help file a claim. 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

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Workers’ Compensation and Death

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Workers’ Compensation and Death 

Workers’ compensation pays survivor benefits to dependents in the unfortunate event of a work-related death. Dependents can include minor children and surviving spouses of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse or children, other relatives of the deceased may be eligible to receive payments. The best way to ensure dependents receive the correct survivor benefits is by contacting a workers’ compensation attorney. 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

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Discrimination based on a workers’ compensation claim

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Discrimination based on a workers’ compensation claim 

It is illegal for an employer to fire you or punish or retaliate against you in any way for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Potential new employers also may not discriminate against you for having filed a claim in the past or for receiving benefits. If you believe you have been discriminated against due to a workers’ compensation claim, you may file a claim with the New York Compensation Board within 2 years of the incident. 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/ebiz/icempcovsearch/icempcovsearch_overview.jsp

 

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Who is covered by New York State workers’ compensation?

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Who is and is not covered by New York State workers’ compensation?

 

The following workers are covered by New York State workers’ compensation law:

            -Workers in for-profit businesses

            -State, county and municipal employees

            -Some employees of non-profit businesses

            -Domestic workers employed 40 or more hours per week by a single employer

            -Anyone voluntarily covered by his or her employer

 

The following workers are not necessarily covered by New York State workers’ compensation law:

            -Federal employees, who are covered by federal workers’ compensation law

            -New York City public employees (e.g. uniformed police officers, uniformed sanitation workers, teachers), who are covered by a separate system

            -Volunteers at non-profit organizations

            -Clergy and other religious workers not voluntarily covered by their employers

            -Sole proprietors of businesses without employees (if they have opted not to cover themselves)

            -Certain private contractors

            -Certain foreign government employees

 

If you have any questions on whether or not you are covered by New York State workers’ compensation law, you may contact our offices for a free consultation.

 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

 

 

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Infectious Disease at work

Posted On: July 12, 2018

Infectious Disease 

Certain professionals, such as doctors, nurses, laboratory workers, maintenance, sanitation and refuse workers, and wildlife workers, are at risk for contracting infectious diseases while at work. Healthcare workers—who may work in diverse settings such as hospitals, dental offices, and emergency response situations—are particularly vulnerable to occupational exposure to infectious disease. Even when employers and employees take proper safety precautions, unforeseeable accidents can occur that cause infectious disease. 

Examples of infectious diseases that can be protracted while on the job include: MRSA; HIV/AIDS; Tuberculosis; Hepatitis; Whooping Cough; Influenza; Rabies (and other zoonoses, diseases spread by animals). 

Employees who contract infectious diseases on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation. As with an injury, an employee that has contracted an infectious disease on the job should immediately inform his/her employer and seek medical attention. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified three primary routes for infectious disease transmission in workplaces:

  • Contact (direct or indirect) transmission can occur through skin-to-skin contact between an employee and patient. Indirect contact transmission can occur when an employee makes contact with a contaminated item such as a needle or doorknob. Examples of contact transmissible infections include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), also know as Staph Infection.
  • Droplet transmission occurs when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or otherwise expels droplets. These droplets can then come into direct contact with an employee by landing on their mucosal surfaces (e.g. eyes, nose, mouth). Examples of droplet transmissible infectious diseases include influenzas.
  • Airborne transmission occurs when small infectious particles are suspended in the air over an extended period of time. These particles, since they are small and suspended in the air, are capable of traveling over distances, and therefore do not require direct contact to spread. Examples of airborne transmissible diseases that are spread through inhalation are Mycobacterium tuberculosis,which causes tuberculosis (TB), and the rubella virus, which causes measles.[1] 

Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.

 


[1] https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthcarefacilities/infectious_diseases.html

[2] https://www.osha.gov/workers/index.html

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